Teaching your kid to do the right thing in the face of opposition is one thing, but giving him/her the opportunity of tasting what that feels like, before actually having to do it in real life, serves as an enticement to the nobler sensibilities. Besides, every generation of children since the beginning of the 20th century has been inundated with emotionally-manipulative media. Teaching children that emotions themselves are wrong is not an option--we must encourage a hunger for the nobler feelings, and the rejection of crass emotional manipulation will naturally follow.This was an idea that I've had for some years (although not nearly as succinctly said) and discussed with other Elementary Ed. students; it cropped back up when Shaun was studying literature and ethics and how they collide. It's one of the reasons why I think reading is such a huge part of molding childhood; it allows you to experience things you may never be able to encounter in real life... or prepares you for when you do.
one of the reasons it's difficult if not illegitimate to compare HP to Dickens or Austen and the like is that HP is written for children. Are your conversations about current events, morality, the faith, etc., that you have with your spouse and peers carried out in the same manner as those you have with your children? Of course not. The writing in HP can't be as sophisticated as that of Dickens or Dostoevsky because they are written for different audiences. It is actually a mark of Rowling's genius (yes, genius) that so many adults (those who share her Christian worldview and those who don't) are so greatly moved by her writing that is aimed at a pre-teen audience. In fact, a compelling and likely convincing case can be made to any fair judge that HP may be the greatest work of children's literature ever written. And yes, I'm aware that the charge of chronological snobbery is now in many minds. But tell me: what else is in the running? MacDonald? Carroll? Lewis? As dangerous a statement as this may be, Rowling is clearly a superior storyteller to Lewis (and I've read the Narnia books 20+ times). And it's hard to even say whether MacDonald and Carroll could even be children's books these days.
If you've never read this interview with J.K. Rowling, I would recommend it. People still spread ridiculous rubbish about Rowling encouraging little girls to practice witchcraft. Conservative Christians can be so gullible and boorish.
But note especially the hint she gives of some resolution to the controversy about Harry Potter's story and the Christian faith in book seven:
E: You do believe in God.And don't forget this gem from her published interview with the Vancouver Sun (October 26, 2000):
JK: Yeah. Yeah.
E: In magic and…
JK: Magic in the sense in which it happens in my books, no, I don't believe. I don't believe in that. No. No. This is so frustrating. Again, there is so much I would like to say, and come back when I've written book seven. But then maybe you won't need to even say it 'cause you'll have found it out anyway. You'll have read it.
Are you a Christian?Draco dormiens numquam titillandus!
“Yes, I am. Every time I've been asked if I believe in God, I've said yes, because I do, but no one ever really has gone any more deeply into it than that, and I have to say that does suit me, because if I talk too freely about that, I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what's coming in the books.”